Ratings: Ease of Use, Performance: 25/25, Look & Feel: 24/25, Features 21/25, How much I enjoy 24/25
Saitek continues the excellent flying and gaming control experience with their Pro Flight series and the newest addition is the Pro Flight Yoke and Pro Flight Throttle Quadrant. For the real feel of flight in the big boys you can’t beat the experience when you grab the yoke of the Pro Flight System.
The Pro Flight Yoke System is two pieces that connect together for flight sim fun. The Yoke itself is a great flying yoke that connects to your computers USB port with plenty of buttons, switches and even momentary switches for gear, flaps or whatever you need.
Here is the features direct from Saitek:
Precision. Realism. Control. The Saitek Pro Flight Yoke System is highly engineered to meet the exacting needs of the true flight simulation enthusiast. Stainless steel shaft, ergonomic controls, integrated chronograph and separate throttle quadrant ensure a smooth, accurate and totally realistic flying experience.
Durable Stainless Steel shaft with precision bearings gives smooth and predictable elevator and aileron control
Used with the supplied SST Programming software, integrated mode switch trebles the number of controls you have at your fingertips
Accurately time each leg of your flight plan with the integrated chronograph
Separate throttle quadrant with additional switches to configure any combination of throttle, flaps, mixture or prop pitch. Mount on top, in front of your desk, pilot or co-pilot side so that the controls are exactly where you want them
Unique, 2-position desk clamp keeps your yoke and quadrant securely fixed no matter how extreme the flying conditions
Use the integrated USB Hub to easily connect other parts of the Saitek Pro Flight range of products, such as additional Pro Flight Throttle Quadrant or Pro Flight Instrument Panel (both sold separately)
Saitek’s powerful Saitek Smart Technology (SST) programming software allows gamers to configure their controls to suit their preferred gaming style, and to save the configurations aspersonal profiles
POV Hat Switch
3-position Mode Switch
3 axis levers on Quadrant
Elevator and Aileron Axes on Yoke
The Yoke portion of the Pro Flight System is a great flying yoke with all the necessary buttons and switches at your fingertips. Installation for both pieces is very simple and easy. The CD contains the necessary drivers for Windows XP and Windows Vista that installed and worked flawlessly for me.
The Pro Flight Yoke System comes with the yoke assembly, the throttle quadrant, a separate clamp for the yoke and throttle and the driver CD. The clamps work very well on a desk surface and I tried it on three different types I have at my home/office. Both clamps have about a 2 inch clearance so you will have no problem clamping the yoke and throttle quadrant on to any desk or table top up to about 2 inches thick.
The Yoke clamp has two holes forward and back for the clamp screw so it is adjustable forward and back. The yoke clamp is a separate piece from the yoke assembly so if you have a special situation or want to design your own cockpit and not use the clamp it is very easy to do so. The throttle quadrant has three holes and the clamp assembly can be attached in two basic positions on the clamp.
Connecting the yoke to your computer is easy and you will not be left without any USB ports as the yoke has three on the back of it. There is no power for the system as it uses USB power but you should connect it to a powered USB port directly on your computer or to a powered hub. The throttle quadrant is an S-video type of connection so it doesn’t take up one of the three USB connections on the yoke.
After installing the basic drivers you are given the option to install the Saitek Smart Technology program that allows you to create profiles for games so that all your switches and axes are correctly set and ready at the click of a mouse button. The SST program is not required for the use of the Pro Flight Yoke System but it does come in handy for games that have different setups for controllers.
The yoke works exactly like a real airplane yoke would, or almost. It has been a long time since my high school ground school course and the day of flying we got as a field trip. The box portion that houses the internal parts of the yoke sit flat on the desk and clamp down from underneath with the large plastic screw. The yoke is shaped like a modern yoke in airplanes with several buttons and switches within easy reach of your fingers.
The yoke pushes in and out nicely with really smooth action and a nice center spring held position. If you let go of the yoke it will settle into the center. You can easily adjust your elevator and ailerons for a good steady flight in Flight Sim X with the controls and the yoke. I played Flight Sim X and Il2 Sturmovik with very good results and a nice flight. The yoke and throttle both handle nicely and when combined with a rudder pedal such as the Pro Flight Rudder Pedals from Saitek make for a fantastic flying time.
I used the Pro Flight Yoke System in both Il2/Pacific Fighters and Flight Sim X with ease and enjoy the feel and comfort of the yoke compared to a flight stick. For the German bomber in Il2 and the regular planes in Flight Sim X the yoke system adds a definite sense of realism and fun to the games. The yoke handles very well and realistically in both types of games with plenty of response and control, especially in the action and fighting of the combat flight sim.
Handling is great with a very realistic movement and nice sliding action for the yoke. The throttle quadrant needs to be set up a bit for use as your engines will not have all the settings when you first install it. You can also use the extra throttle quadrants to open and close bay doors or raise and lower gear with a few tweaks to the SST program. The older bombers have sticks much like these for gear and bay doors, although not in the same position, and it gives a great feeling of being in the real thing when flying with the Pro Flight Yoke System.
The throttles have a partial stop near the bottom for a realistic engine idle and stop or reverse depending on how you want them set. There are also three rocker switches below each throttle stick for added controls for the engines or whatever you would like to assign them to. The yoke also has plenty of rocker, momentary and regular switches as well as the hat switch for nice pan viewing. Under your right trigger finger on the yoke is a mode switch so you can have switches and buttons in three separate modes such as flying, landing/takeoff and combat.
The display on the yokes center console is nice a bright green with the current military time for ease of flying and a nice stop watch for instrument only flying and those tricky patterns around airports. The display also has which mode you’re in for the three modes so you know without having to guess.
The Saitek Pro Flight Yoke System is great and whether you purchase the yoke and throttle quadrant or just the throttle quadrant you will definitely enjoy your flying experience. The Pro Flight Yoke System has the yoke and throttle quadrant and the throttle quadrant can be purchased separately.
Overall the Saitek Pro Flight Yoke System is great for flight simulator realism at an affordable price. The Pro Flight Yoke is very smooth with easy controls and a nice simple setup and installation. The throttle quadrant adds that extra touch of multiengine realism and is a nice addition to the set. Purchased as a set or separately the Pro Flight System is great and a must have for flight sim enthusiasts.